Sales Meetings as a Commodity
If you manage a sales team, you need to make sure each of your reps is constantly by his phone or with his cell, ready to take every call, right?
Wrong, according to Stephen Pia, media sales trainer and founder of COACH MEdia Inc. Pia thinks salespeople should spend only a small portion of their day making and taking random calls. Most incoming calls should go to voice mail to avoid what he dubs "spray and pray" babbling and improvisation. Instead, salespeople should be trained and motivated to spend their time scheduling, planning and executing meetings. For Pia, this leads to not only more effective but more predictable selling activity.
Based on this premise, salespeople should work with four "magic quadrants." The first are current clients. "A salesperson should have a scheduled meeting for upsell or renewal with each one," says Pia. "The minimum outcome to close at the end of a qualified interaction is a meeting follow-up." The second are prospects, those who have accepted meetings. The third group is called the suspects, a finite list taken from the fourth quadrant-the universe of potential clients-with whom a salesperson should be working to close for a meeting. Once that happens, the suspect becomes a prospect, and a replacement comes up from the universe to join the finite group of suspects. For Pia, narrowing lists and focusing on meetings is much more efficient than working from an infinite list of potential clients and making cold calls.
Making It Work
As a leader, Pia says you need to hold your reps accountable. At weekly and monthly meetings, grade them first on their number of meetings. Also, reward them. The highest rep of the week or month should be the person with the highest number of meetings. Even if you can’t give financial rewards, "public recognition is the best motivation for sales reps," says Pia.